When the cancer develops on the lining of the stomach, it is termed as stomach cancer or gastric cancer. The primary symptoms of stomach cancer include upper abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn, and loss of appetite. In mature stages, the patient might show extreme weight loss, yellowish skin and experience frequent vomiting, with difficulty in swallowing, and blood stained stool.
Even after many methods of diagnosis and clarity in medical supervision about stomach cancer, many have pre-established myths in mind about this disease, which often becomes a hindrance to treat it. Here is a list of stomach cancer myths busted –
Myth 1 – It is not Stomach Cancer if you Don’t Feel any Pain
Fact – In early stages, stomach cancer compulsorily do not show any signs and symptoms. Very rarely abdominal pain occurs and whatever it does, the pain seems like simple gastric pain. This is one of the prime reasons why stomach cancer is rarely diagnosed in the first stage.
Myth 2 – Only if you have Chronic Indigestion Problems for more than a Year, you might have Stomach Cancer
Fact – The primary possible symptoms of stomach cancer is heartburn, indigestion, burping and acidity occurrences frequently or daily. If you confront these symptoms for more than 2-3 months, you should consult a doctor and undergo tests that ensure if it is a stomach cancer. Many stomach cancer patients experienced indigestion related symptoms for almost a year and then were correctly diagnosed as cancer, unfortunately it was last stage. But, in many stomach cancer patients with these symptoms for hardly 2-3 months, the disease was diagnosed correctly. Thus, the tenure is not the factor, it is important to undergo tests once indigestion medications are not offering relief within a month or two.
Myth 3 – Stomach Cancer is a Rare Disease
Fact – The fifth most commonly occurring cancer in the world is stomach cancer. The last records of 2012 show 952,000 new cases diagnosed all over the world. Maximum patients of stomach cancer are found in Republic of Korea followed by Mongolia and Japan. Remaining 71 % of stomach cancer cases were surveyed from the other countries.
Myth 4 – You cannot Survive without your Stomach after Removal of the Organ due to Cancer
Fact – One of the treatment plans of stomach cancer is – gastrectomy, which is a surgical procedure that completely removes the stomach. The procedure will take around 5 hours and you would need to stay in the hospital for about 12 days; eating or drinking is permitted for the first 5 days.
The cancerous part of the stomach is removed and the lower part if attached to the duodenum, this new configuration needs to heal and then the patient can eat or drink. Although, initially the act is uncomfortable and painful, most of the patients also complain of no appetite whatsoever; but still eating and living a normal life is possible after a total or partial gastrectomy.
Myth 5 – There are no Possibilities of Genetic Stomach Cancer
Fact – Although this is rare, but hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome does happen and it occurs genetically that triggers the growth of stomach cancer. There is a life-long stomach cancer risk among up to 70 to 80 % in such people. The women who have this syndrome can also get certain type of breast cancer. Such conditions occur by mutation defects in the CDH1gene.
Once you come out of the myths mentioned above and others, dealing with cancer will be easier and faster. Stomach cancer is curable and your prognosis will completely depend on the stage of your cancer. Therefore, whenever you feel any abdominal discomfort for more than one or two months it is better to get the required tests done instead of apprehending illogical ideas.